Worship

One of the attributes of modern society that puzzles me most is the habit of denying the value of an action or attitude whilst simultaneously engaging in the same characteristics in a modified form. I know the simple nine letter noun that sums the habit up succinctly. Since i have always been a woman of more words rather than less, i will allow Miss Bates to run rampant for a minute, but only one, i can afford no more.

Worship is often relegated to the storage-rooms of history.

It is wrapped in archival paper and shut away in boxes by those who labourously toil behind a screen always scrambling to stay ahead of the market. The one thing that is valued most and occupies more of our time than any other pursuit; that which we treasure more than any other-this is what we worship.

We all worship something or someone.

Twenty centuries ago the Apostle Matthew told us that what we treasure most is where our heart will be. He did not tell us that where our heart is our treasuer will follow. We often think that our heart decides what is most dear to us. St. Matthew said that our money or treasure determines where our heart will be. We worship what motivates our spending or giving.

Where do your time and money go?

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Write31Days

This will be a challenging October. This blog will hopefully come to life again! For 2017 i am joining the Write31Days power group for the third year. In October 2016 i was about to get married and the last six weeks of a wedding is insane enough on its own, so i skipped the October mayhem. If you are unfamiliar with Write 31 Days 2017 it is a LARGE group of bloggers who all commit to posting every day for the entire month of October. Who needs scary costumes or candy when you are trying to accomplish that?

Since i am restarting this blog i am keeping it simple for this year. After all, what is writing and posting each day for thirty-one days in a row, with the deadline of midnight ticking away to get the lead out of your fingers and get a writer going again? Are we not a group who are infamous for needing deadlines and imminent peril to force us out of our comfort-zones and requiring us to share our writing?

Grammarly and i are entirely aware of the peculiar capitalization rule that i have suddenly forgotten. As i mature in years, faith and marriage (almost 11 months) i have come to realize that i am not the only one who is always sure that they know best. Following the example of Mother Gavrilia, i have begun a practice of keeping my i humble and not capitalizing myself. If i say anything that is any value it will not be because of my brilliance anyway. The practice of making the self the center of one’s thought requires no assistance and the remedy necessitates of extraordinary effort.

i will be joining the FMF team also this year. Check them out here.Five Minute Friday

31 Days themes are thanks to Kate Motaung! For simplicity check them out right here…

  1. worship
  2. tell
  3. create
  4. hope
  5. trust
  6. story
  7. hold
  8. truth
  9. plan
  10. listen
  11. remember
  12. write
  13. invite
  14. try
  15. remain
  16. read
  17. grow
  18. share
  19. brave
  20. discover
  21. give
  22. light
  23. work
  24. revise
  25. because
  26. change
  27. ? (FMF prompt)
  28. connect
  29. follow
  30. refine
  31. rest

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Bacon?

Today I am linking up with the team for Five Minute Friday over at Kate Motaung’s site. I read the word they picked for the random five minute free-write. At first I thought I misread the word, but then I read Kate’s post explaining it and a smile spread all over my face. The word begin was misread by a kid for bacon. In the beginning there was some bacon? Well, no. Check this one out at Kate’s and then accept my humble offering.

Go:

Bacon is a delectable meat that my whole family enjoys. It adds a salty-heartiness to many meals. I just added some to a chicken campfire stew I served for supper.

But this time bacon has to do with beginning. It could remind us of breakfast at the beginning of the day. However, being inclined to the not so likely, it reminded me of my favorite recipe for bacon. This is not a food blog, but I must share this with you.

marthastewart.com

marthastewart.com

  • Line a sheet pan with foil.
  • Heat the broiler for 550 degrees and place the strips of bacon on the foil.
  • Lightly drizzle real maple syrup over the bacon and cook until crispy.

The sweetness of the maple syrup combined with the salty of the smoky bacon is incredible. The syrup caramelizes on the bacon adding to the complexity.

Here is the odd part. The sweet reminds me of Psalm 119:103 about the sweetness of the word of God and salty reminds me of the salt with which Jesus told us we needed to be preserved. The word and salty grace are the perfect combination for any day. Maple-Bacon is not on everyone’s approved diet, but the Word shared with grace is perfect for everyone.

Done:

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth.-Psalm 119:103

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.    -Matthew 5:13

I am going to make it a point to remind myself to pass out Spiritual-Maple-Bacon this week. Best of all it will make a perfect addition to any breakfast. It is the perfect way to begin the day.

P.S. The first thing I thought of was Francis Bacon, but I thought he would be more appropriate for next month when I will be sharing some favorite reads from my bookshelves. Besides, I didn’t want everyone to know I am that odd. Oops, I just told you.

Biography.com

Biography.com

Joy and Strength

Today I am joining the gang at Five Minute Friday’s at Kate Motaung’s blog. The word for today is JOY. Five Minutes-Free Writing-No excessive Edits

Go:

“The Joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Joy: it is the name of friends.
It is the word on one of my favorite teacups.
We see it plenty of times at Christmas.

Joy is something we all want to feel, but like all feelings it comes and it goes.
Much sought after and hard to hold on to; joy weaves itself in and out of my life. I wish I could say that joy is a feeling that I find myself in possession of frequently.

Joy is not really just a feeling. According to Nehemiah 8:10 it is the source of our strength.

Wow, strength is a word that I think I need even more than I need joy. I am beginning physical therapy this week. I have been run down with health problems and I need to keep my muscles strong while I heal. Strength is what I really need. The Word of God tells me that joy leads to strength.

Stop:

The Word tells us that finding our joy in the presence of the Lord is the ultimate strength.

All we need is God and we will have joy and strength.

We are not dependent upon health or feelings.

All we need is to be in God’s presence.

Green

Today I am joining Five Minute Friday’s and the topic is “green.”

IMG_2392

Such a green lawn. Second-flush hollyhocks noticed in mid-October.

Go:

The world is fading from green to gold. When I took that walk to the river yesterday I was disappointed that more of the trees had not taken on fall glory. Today I went grocery shopping and I noticed that the tress are more golden overnight.

Green is a color associated with growth. In the Church we are still in the season where the liturgical color is green. We still have green outdoors, but we know it will soon change. Today I am thinking that October green is a passing gift.

I need to be grateful for the still green grass. I want to thank God for all the shade the trees are providing. I am grateful for green hills. When the gold and crimson take over they will not last long. I must cherish the green because all too soon the Church will move on to Advent and I will need to dig out all that red and green for my house.

Stop:

I am grateful for the green that means not…quite… yet.

Simple Beauty of Family

imageThe name family conjures up so many images, both good and bad. In the modern world it is one of the most emotionally loaded words we have. We could have long discourses on the causes and talk about the “decline of the family” all of which is a genuine concern. Right now, in keeping with our 31 Days theme, I would like to talk about how family is a sources of simple beauty and comfort.

What I want to explore briefly is how we all unconsciously desire family. In Genesis God told Adam that it was not good for man to be alone. In the first few chapters we watch the whole beautiful first family descend in murder and estrangement. The story of God’s love for people doesn’t end there!

No matter where you are in relation to your family the story doesn’t end until Jesus Christ comes agin in glory to make all things new and right.

The story will not be over until some time in the future. We are all in the story and cannot yet see what twists and turns the plot will take. We do know that it all comes right in the end.

Family is a powerful name.

Everyone needs to be part of a family. Family is supposed to demonstrate unconditional love. Self-sacrificing love is the love that God created the world with and that is the kind of love family is designed to teach. We all want to receive this love, but it can be hard to give. What if we all give our families some of this love today, without expecting anything in return? Also spend some time with those who show us this kind of love, if not our family,perhaps our friends, Church members, neighbors, etc.

After all, we don’t know where the plot will go yet. We only know that we all somehow live “happily ever after” with God.

This post is part of Five Minute Friday with Kate Motaung and her marvelous group over there. It is also the second post in the series with 31 Days.  Check them out and see what others have to say using the links above or buttons below. God bless you for stopping by and join me in sharing a little grace today with those we call “family.”

imagehttps://pilgrimjourneythroughlife.com/

 

 

 

Engaging Discussions

This post is number nine in a series On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life that Lasts, by Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig, hosted by Kate Motaung.

In contemplating engaging with other writers and creative people I find myself very grateful for the internet. The ability to gather with like-minded people and grow as part of a group despite the span of miles is an enormous blessing. I considered the call to write long ago. I always wrote, but I should specify that I considered a career just out of college. I did not stumble upon a group of Christian writers at that time. In the secular sphere I felt like I did not belong. In truth, I felt as though I was too anachronistic to ever belong. I went to work in the church. I believed that it was the only place where my contribution would be welcome.

After more than a decade I did stumble upon a Christian writer’s community online. In many and various ways I found parts of myself. I had suffered under the illusion that I was an anomaly. I learned that there are many other people who view the world in many of the ways that I do. I am learning that one of the enemy ‘s chief tools is to isolate us and suffer us to keep quiet about our faith out of fear that very few people share our faith today. The Internet has torn down walls that kept us quiet. We are a community of believers. We are strong enough to build each other up. The internet is famous for those who tear other people down. Social media has a bad reputation. In my view it is undeserved.

Since the early church believers have encouraged one another. We have always been a community that resembles a family. There are always relatives who behave selfishly, however, Christians are not as a rule dysfunctional. The most positive and caring group you can affiliate with are Christians with mature faith. If you have been hurt by believers keep looking, for there are many good groups. Do not become discouraged. I wish that I had known about groups like (in)Courage and Five Minute Friday’s sooner.

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I have enjoyed being a part of this writing group! I will be linking up with 31 Days in October as well. If all goes as planned I will be checking out a local real-life writer’s group tomorrow. They are not a Christian group per se, but hopefully I will find some encouragement there as well. I have the courage to try because of the online communities that I have been able to become a part of. It is possible that someone may want to read my thoughts. Thanks to the online Christians I am certain that God did not give me a love of words to frustrate me. There is a purpose to my penchant for obtuse words and if one person is uplifted by my verbosity then it is all for the glory of Jesus Christ. I think that this is the key difference in between Christian writers and the secular writers. We are not looking for our own glory. My image is irrelevant. I write to build up the reputation of Christ. If I look a bit foolish, or even very silly it is for a greater purpose.

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Christ the Power and Wisdom of God

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

1 Corinthians 4:10

We are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.